How to Cope.

“Situational and clinical depression are similar but not the same. Recognizing the differences between these types of depression is the first step toward getting help.

Situational depression is known medically as “adjustment disorder with depressed mood.” It often resolves in time, and talking about the problem can ease the recovery process.

Clinical depression, known medically as “major depressive disorder,” can develop if the individual does not recover. This is a more severe mental health condition.”

Everyone feels sadness. It’s a natural human emotion. However, clinical depression is a serious condition that can have a profound impact on every part of life.

In this post I’m going to talk about depression and ways to cope with it. I am by far no expert on the logistics and differences between the clinical and situational depression. I just know ways that I deal with mine and what has worked for both me and some of my colleges. 

First off one of the most important things to do (aside from seeing a doctor, medication and therapy) is developing a strong social support. I have been blessed with a wonderful support system through family and friends I’ve had since high school. Even in today’s age where I feel like mental health is becoming more talked about I feel like I have a few social media friends I can reach out too anytime that I need to. I know though, that not everyone has this, this is when seeking a depression support group can become key. Start in your community, maybe your therapist or doctor has some suggestions and if they don’t fit your needs there are a to of resources online that you can resort to. 

Number two, this was something that was so hard for me and continues to be a day to day challenge and that is reduce your stress. Medically there is a hormone in your body, a good hormone that allows your body to cope with stress, called cortisol. However over the long run this can cause problems for you, depression being on of them. Some mental tips that I have are:

  • Draw a line between leading a full life and being overwhelmed.
  • Think like an optimistic realist rather than a pessimist. 
  • Allow yourself to feel, then feel better.
  • Accept your weaknesses then everyone else’s.

Next on my list is improve your sleep hygiene. I’ve noticed that when I mess with my sleep schedule weather it’s sleeping too much or not enough it messes my whole life up. Sleep and mood are intimately connected. There was a study done in 2014 that stated 80% of people who have major depressive disorder (MDD) have sleep disturbances. But sometimes it’s really hard to fall asleep or wake up when you’re so exhausted in the morning. Some tips that I found helpful with this is turing off electronics at least an hour before bed and if needed use dim light to read or engage in another relaxing activity (such as yoga or meditation). Only use your bed for sleep and sexual activity. Doing work in bed, or even in your bedroom, can cause you to associate your bed with stress, rather than relaxation. 

The fourth thing I have for you is learning to stop negative thoughts. Depression doesn’t just make you feel bad, it can also cause you to think more negatively. Changing those negative thoughts, however, can improve your mood. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that works to change patterns of negative thinking in order to get rid of depression. There are also many self-help books, apps, and online courses that can help you learn how to change your unhealthy thinking patterns. 

The fifth and final thing that I have to share is picking up hobbies that you love and make you happy. This may be a challenge for a lot of people because you don’t just feel happy naturally. I love to go for walks and be in nature. I love the exercise and be active. Having a passion for something really makes a difference in your day to day life and making plans to do something at the end of the week may give you something to look forward to.

I hope that these were helpful! Below are some resource links for those of you in need of care or someone to talk to.

Take care out there, 

with love c.p.

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